[Autohome Race] On the ninth stage of the 2012 Dakar, the defending car champion Al-Atiyah's Hummer had to retire due to broken engine belts and malfunctioning generators, which broke the biggest upset since the start of the race.
About Nasser Al-Attiyah
The 41-year-old Atiyah, whose father is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, is in charge of Qatar's oil lifeline, and his family is rich in the enemy's country. Atiyah himself has a soft spot for sports. Horse racing, racing and flying saucer shooting are all his passions. The Qatari driver is the Qatari flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics; the bronze medalist of men's skeet shooting and the champion of skeet team at the Guangzhou Asian Games.
The Qatari driver has participated in 46 races since 2004 and has accumulated rich experience in rally events. As an outstanding athlete, Atiyah not only won the 2006 P-WRC Championship of Mass-Production Cars, but also won the Middle East Car Rally Championship seven times. In addition, Atiyah will represent the motherland in the flying saucer shooting competition of the London Olympics.
Atiyah's Dakar journey this year was not smooth from the beginning. In the first stage, he suffered a hydraulic system failure and lost nearly 10 minutes. In the second stage, the Hummer car swept away the decline of the first day and won the first stage. On the third day, the total score temporarily ranked sixth.
Unfortunately, in the fourth stage, Atiyah ran into trouble again, and had to wait 15 minutes for another Hummer driven by teammate Robbie Gordon to arrive before the game could continue. The accident caused Atiyah to delay a total of 6 and a half minutes, and was behind the lead by as much as 30 minutes. In the fifth stage, Atiyah suffered another setback. His Hummer suddenly stalled due to the overheating of the engine, which caused a delay of 24 minutes.
After the sixth stage was cancelled due to bad weather, Atiyah regrouped and won the championship again in the seventh stage. In the eighth stage, the defending champion suffered another blow. His Hummer stopped twice in the first 64 kilometers of the race. Although Attia went all-out pursuit after returning to the game, it was still 8 minutes behind the leader. The 45-minute gap in the overall score made Attia's hopes of defending even more diminished.
Atiyah's dream of defending was shattered in the ninth stage. His Hummer could not be repaired due to a double failure of the engine and generator, and he had to announce his retirement, ending the Dakar journey. Atiyah’s retirement was surprising, but the game was full of unknowns and challenges. Atiyah participated in a total of 7 Dakar sessions, of which 4 times (3 times driving a private team BMW racing car, 1 time driving a private team Hummer racing car) retired, and in the two years of joining the more powerful Volkswagen manufacturer team, Atiyah won a championship and a runner-up, which shows that a good car is very important to the driver.